How to become a modern day knight

Updated April 04, 2017

Historically, knights were known as men who fought to defend king and country in the Middle Ages. Additionally, the term knight conjures up images of Camelot, and men in armour jousting. Today, the idea of a modern knight is less about orders, titles and defending country and crown. Rather, the concept of knighthood is about moral conduct. Today, fraternal organisations refer to their members as knights, while monarchs still award knighthood to individuals recognised for service to their country. Those knighted by the British monarchy tend to receive the most attention.

Become a member of an organisation that holds an induction ritual or ceremony, in which you can become a knight. Such organisations can be found worldwide. For instance, you can join the Society for Creative Anachronism, which preserves the traditions of knighthood in modern society, the Knights of Columbus, an affiliate with the Catholic Church, or the Knights Templar, an order of the Freemasons.

Petition for membership in the organisation you wish to join. Each group has its own policy and guidelines about accepting new members. Some require a character/background investigation and a fee to join.

Take part in the initiation process for knight membership. Some groups hold traditional rituals and ceremonies, while others hold a vote among the leaders of the organisation.

Become an active knight in the order and attend regular meetings. Join a local chapter in your city so you can participate in social gatherings and activities as a modern-day knight.

Make significant public service contributions to the British nation. Those honoured with knighthood in the past include scientists, doctors, educators, social and charitable workers, artists, athletes, musicians, actors, writers and businessmen.

Be nominated as a British citizen. Self-nomination is not encouraged. Recommendations by government departments, the prime minister and the public make up a biannual list that's approved by the queen. The list is published on New Year's Day and in June on the (current) queen's birthday.

Be nominated by the U.K. secretary of state for foreign and commonwealth affairs if you're not a British citizen. For example, as an American, you must demonstrate that you have made a great contribution to Great Britain. As an honorary knight, you cannot carry the title of "Dame" or "Sir."

Wait to receive a letter from the queen asking if you would be willing to accept the award. Accept the honour in writing and attend the ceremony that's held each year. In the knighting ceremony, you must kneel in front of the queen as she lays a sword upon your right then left shoulder.

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About the Author

Mary Corbin began her career writing for online and print media in Indianapolis. Since 2004, she has covered subjects such as home and family, technology and legal issues. Working in the broadcast industry, Corbin created articles for marketing, public relations and business matters. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University.